Presider: In the name of God our creator, and of Jesus our brother, and of the Holy Spirit our wisdom. All: Amen.
Opening Prayer. Presider: Let us pray. Nurturing God, you became human in Jesus and showed us how to live life fully. You know what it means to laugh and cry, to walk and talk, to love and be loved. / We know that your mothering presence is always with us. May we like Mary, rejoice as we give birth to God within us, and may we give birth to God in everything we say and do. All: Amen
A reading from the Gospel according to Luke 2: 15-20:
When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go straight to Bethlehem and see this event that God has made known to us.” They hurried and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger; once they saw this, they reported what they had been told concerning the child. All who heard about it were astonished at the report given by the shepherds.
Mary treasured all these things and reflected on them in her heart. The shepherds went away glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, just as they had been told.
This is the Good News for a hungering humanity!
Shared Homily - (Q: What Christmas message do you carry in your heart?)
Profession of Faith.
All: We believe in God who is creator and nurturer of all. We believe in Jesus the Christ, who is our love, our hope, and our light. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the breath of Wisdom Sophia, who energizes and guides us to build caring communities and to challenge injustices. We believe in the communion of saints our heavenly friends, who support us on life’s journey. We believe in the partnership and equality of women and men in our church and world. We believe that all are one in the community of creation. We believe that God calls us to live fully, love tenderly, and serve generously. Amen.
Presider: Always mindful of God’s love and care for us, we bring our needs to our loving God. For what now shall we pray?
Presider: Blessed are you, God of all life, through your goodness we have bread, wine, all creation, and our own lives to offer. Through this sacred meal we become your new creation. ALL: Blessed be God forever.
Voice One: Mothering God, you brought forth all creation from your Life-Giving Womb. O Love of the Ages, we praise you and leap for joy in your presence.
Voice Two: O Holy One of Ancient Israel, you revealed yourself in Mary’s womb, in a shining star, in humble shepherds, in a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes. You embrace us with infinite love in every situation and relationship. You dwell in the depths of our hearts, we proclaim your praise:
Voice Three: We invite you this day to deepen our awareness of your boundless love as we gather around the table of abundant life.
Remembering Jesus. All (hand extended in blessing):
On the night before he died, while at supper with his friends, Jesus took bread, broke it, and shared it with those present, saying, “Take this, all of you, and eat. This is my body which will be broken for you.” (Pause) Then Jesus took a cup of wine and shared it with those present, saying, “Take this all of you and drink. This is the cup of my life-blood. Do this in memory of me.”
All (2nd Invocation of Spirit, with hand on each other’s shoulder): Come Holy Spirit to rest on us. Convert us from the patterns of this passing world until we conform to the shape of Jesus whose food we now share. Amen
Presider: This is Jesus who liberates, heals and transforms us and our world. All are invited to partake of this banquet of love. All: We are the Body of Christ.
All Sing: We are holy holy holy (x1) We are whole; You are holy holy holy (x1) You are whole; I am holy (x1) I am whole; We are holy holy holy (x1) We are whole.
Communion (Silent Night)
Sacrament of the Sick
Final Blessing. All (hand extended):
May God’s Light encircle you
May God’s Love enfold you
May God’s Peace encourage you
May God’s Presence enrich you
Today and always. Amen
Presider: Go in the peace of Christ, let our service continue! All: Thanks be to God.